by by Sam Alper

illustration by by Becca Levinson

JUDY – Young and starved for company.
BRY – Same.

Night. The back porch of a country house, in the deep country, the backwoods. A rocking chair and a steel bucket, placed at a diagonal from each other. Sound of an owl. Something drops out of the sky into the steel bucket and makes a loud sound. Pause. JUDY comes outside. She looks around. She looks in the bucket. She reaches in and takes out a ball. It has the weight of granite and is perfectly round and black. JUDY looks at it, moves it from hand to hand. She sticks out her tongue and cautiously starts to lick it.

BRY (off-stage): Hay! Don’t lick that! Put that ball down, girl!

BRY enters.

BRY: I said put that down.

JUDY: Well I ain’t gonna.

BRY: You should.

JUDY gives it another lick.

BRY: I’m only sayin for yer health.

JUDY: Whada you know about it?

BRY: Just everything. I saw one of these balls. fall outta the sky and kill a wild turkey. It was like a bolt from god.


BRY: So you don’t lick a thing like that.

JUDY: What kind of thing do I lick like?

BRY: What?

JUDY: What, what?

BRY: What do you mean?

JUDY: You know what I mean.

BRY: No.

JUDY: Really?

BRY: I’m serious.

JUDY: It was an innuendo.

BRY: What’s that?

JUDY: It’s a way of talking sexy where no one can get mad at you.

BRY: Sounds nice.

JUDY: Well you missed yer chance to do it.

BRY: I did?

JUDY: You’ve lost yer window of opportunity.

BRY: Well damn.


JUDY: Yer the neighbor boy.

BRY: Yep.

JUDY: I’ve seen you.

BRY: Doin what?

JUDY: Nothin. I’ve seen you, is all. Around.

BRY: You’ve seen me doin somethin.

JUDY: How do you know?

BRY: Yer eyes. You’re not the only one who sees people around. I see you around.

JUDY: Oh yeah? What do you, love me or somethin?

BRY: I ain’t sayin that.

JUDY: Then I ain’t sayin what terrible thing I saw you do.

BRY: Aw shucks, really?

JUDY: Yep. Everything’s trades with me.

BRY: I guess it is. That’s fair.


BRY: I love you. I do. You got me.

JUDY: How much?

BRY: First you tell me what you saw.

JUDY: I saw you pickin’ tomatoes.

BRY: Oh.

JUDY: And you were havin’ an ecstasy.

BRY: Oh. I’m sorry you saw that. I know I’m not ‘sposed to. Those tomatoes are just so...

JUDY: Smooth?

BRY: Yeah.

JUDY: And round?

BRY: Yeah. Yeah, that’s about the cause of it.

JUDY: Thought so. How much do you love me?

BRY: Very much.

JUDY: Make an arms of it. Show me how much in arms.

BRY stretches his arms to show her how much.

JUDY: That much.

BRY: Yes I guess so.

JUDY coughs.

BRY: I never thought we’d talk like this.

JUDY: I never thought about it.

BRY: Oh, I thought about it a whole bunch. I never approached yer house because my momma—

JUDY: Yer momma scares me senseless. Why’s she carry ‘round a crossbow?

BRY: It’s from the war gainst the draculas. One of them fanged her eye. That’s why she wears that felt patch.


JUDY coughs hard, she looks pale.

BRY: You alright?

JUDY: Ya, I’m just feelin funny.

BRY: My momma’s not so scary when you get to know her. She lets me stroke her eyepatch sometimes, when her head’s splittin. But she doesn’t like you for some reason. She calls you that neighbor girl. And hussy.

JUDY: You make me feel sorta hussy.

BRY: Stop that! You’re drivin me crazy. I’m feelin all shaky.

JUDY: Me too. I’m feelin all...

JUDY coughs hard, she coughs a little blood.

BRY: Can I get you some water or somethin?

JUDY: No. Thassalright. I’m alright. I think I know why your momma doesn’t like me.

BRY: I can’t see any reason not to like you.

JUDY: Shh, you’re makin me red. I feel like a tomato.

BRY: You look like a tomato. You look like a whole bunch of tomatoes.

JUDY: Givin you ecstasy.

BRY: You could. I wouldn’t mind.

JUDY: Oh, I know. You wouldn’t mind a bit. You’d the opposite of mind.

BRY: Uh. We were talkin bout...

JUDY: Yer momma. She probably doesn’t like me cause my daddy was a dracula. So I’m part.

JUDY coughs violently, seizes up.

BRY: Oh gawd. Oh no.

JUDY: Oh I hope you don’t mind too much. It’s not my fault. And he don’t live with us. He’s back in Transylvania with the rest of em. I think of myself mostly as a human.

BRY: How’re you feelin?

JUDY: Just awful, actually. I don’t know what’s—

BRY: That ball you licked? I gotta tell ya—I threw that ball to get yer attention. There wasn’t nothin droppin out of the sky. I jes wanted to talk to you, and my momma only goes to town once a year so I—

JUDY: You made a pretext fer talkin to me?

BRY: Yes but—

JUDY: So you had a plan and everythin? You were home thinkin about me and thinkin how to talk to me—

BRY: Ya, but—

JUDY: You had a whole devilbolical plan.

BRY: Yea, I did but I gotta tell you. That ball’s my momma’s. It’s from her—

JUDY freezes, goes somewhere.

BRY: Hay! Hay!

JUDY snaps back.

JUDY: Oh my mind feels slippy.

BRY: It’s from my momma’s war chest. I don’t think it’s good for draculas.

JUDY: Oh. Oh no no no. No no no no no.

BRY: I didn’t know you was one. Or that you’d lick it. I’m sorry. I gotta—I gotta go get...

JUDY: Don’t go. I don’t want you to go.

BRY: I just gotta go for a moment. I got a big flashing light in the house, it’s a signal light my momma has, like they had in the war. We’re registered with the local police, it’ll get them here, quick, I promise. We’ll get you to a hospital—

JUDY: Don’t go. Do you think I could die?

BRY: I’ll go and do it so fast. Fastest thing you ever saw. I promise.

JUDY: You promise?

BRY: I said it so I do.

BRY starts to go.

JUDY: Hay! Wait!

BRY: What?

JUDY: What’s yer name?

BRY: Bry.

JUDY: Judy.

BRY: Ok Judy. You just sit here. And... pretend you’re a bunch of tomatoes, just sittin on the vine. Not mindin anythin.

JUDY: What kind?

BRY: The kind in ma garden. The big bright peaceful kind. The kind that makes me lie down and feel everything rushing like bees. That’s the kind—

JUDY: Oh my head’s startin to hurt!

BRY: Sorry. I’m going now. Sorry.

BRY exits, running. JUDY sits alone, shivering. After a moment a beam of light arcs across the sky. JUDY concentrates on becoming a tomato.